Lyon 0 Sevilla 0: Europa League holders secure passage

Sevilla qualifies for the Champions League's knockout phase for the first time since 2009-10 season after holding Lyon for a 0-0 draw. The La Liga club needed to avoid losing by two goals or more to prevent its hosts pipping them to second spot behind Juventus.

valbuena-cropped

Lyon looked every inch a team on a mission during the first half, pressing high and putting Sevilla under pressure throughout.

Sevilla has qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League for the first time since the 2009-10 season after holding on to a 0-0 draw at Lyon in Group H on Wednesday.

The La Liga club needed to avoid losing by two goals or more to prevent Lyon pipping them to second spot behind Juventus, and although Lyon put them under considerable pressure, it just about did enough to keep Bruno Genesio's men at bay in foggy France.

> MATCH CENTRE

Despite Lyon being "seriously shaken emotionally" after an exploding firecracker during its match with Metz put goalkeeper Anthony Lopes in hospital on Saturday, its need for an all-out-attack approach contributed to an enthralling and frantic first half.

The frame of the goal was struck three times before the break and both sides were controversially denied a penalty.

Sevilla, whose coach Jorge Sampaoli was serving a touchline ban, struggled to contain Lyon's fluid attack, but its dogged defending in numbers proved particularly difficult to break through after half-time.

Ultimately, Sevilla's defensive work secured the point and confirmed its passage, meaning its Europa League dominance comes to an end after three successive titles, while Lyon will be hoping to add that trophy to its own collection as it finishes third in the group.

Lyon looked every inch a team on a mission during the first half, pressing high and putting Sevilla under pressure throughout. It carved out its first opportunity inside three minutes, as Mathieu Valbuena met Rafael's squared pass on the edge of the box and Sergio Rico tipped it over.

But Lyon's insistence on playing high up the pitch almost resulted in its downfall in the 20th minute, with the post denying Vitolo after Sergio Escudero released the winger in behind Rafael.

Both sides then had penalty shouts ignored in the next two minutes, as Mariano sent Valbuena tumbling before Vitolo was denied a certain goal when tripped by Lopes.

Sevilla looked a threat on the break, but it should have been behind a few moments later – Corentin Tolisso's header from Rafael's cross bouncing up off the turf and hitting the crossbar.

The bar came to Sevilla's rescue again just before the break, keeping Valbuena's 16-yard curling effort out. The pattern of the match remained much the same after the interval, as Lyon controlled the tempo and the Spaniards looked to absorb pressure.

Sevilla did cause Lyon a rare moment of panic after an hour, though, with Escudero doing well on the left before playing a low cross into the goalmouth that Jeremy Morel had to put behind with Mariano lurking.

Lyon had a second penalty claim with 12 minutes to go, but the referee correctly turned down its protests as substitute Nabil Fekir tripped over his own feet.

Sevilla did well to take the sting out of proceedings towards the end and, although Clement Grenier's 87th-minute header went close, the visitors held on for what was a hard-earned point.

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